It’s been nearly four months since the Orlando Pride parted ways with former head coach Tom Sermanni in September after three seasons.
On Monday, Orlando City’s Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations, Luiz Muzzi, told reporters that the Pride have an agreement with a coach and an announcement should be coming soon.
“It’s coming,” said Muzzi. “We have an agreement with a coach. We’re just working out the final details and that’s coming up, but we do have a coach in place already.”
The Pride took a big step as a club that same Monday in hiring Erik Ustruck as the team’s first General Manager.
Muzzi spoke about the Pride’s need to have a dedicated GM, who assisted in the Pride coaching search and will represent the club in the 2019 NWSL College Draft set to take place on Thursday in Chicago.
“We’re going to dedicate a GM, the Pride needs a GM,” Muzzi said. “Somebody who can take care of Pride fully and committed to the Pride. I think when you have one person doing a lot of things at the same time, you end up losing that focus that we need and Erik is doing a fantastic job with the Pride. He’s really excited, he loves that and I think that he knows the club has been here for seven years and he couldn’t be a better guy.”
While being a new general manager, Ustruck, 34, has been working in Orlando City’s front office since 2014, when he retired as a player for the club. Most recently, he served as the manager of soccer operations for both the Pride and Orlando City, and was team administration manager for the MLS side from 2015-17.
“He’s been around and he’s been doing that for all this time for Orlando City and he has been involved with the Pride as well,” Muzzi said. “The idea was a lot of things that happen in the background that’s not necessarily the guy that you see making the announcements that is actually evaluating and doing all that, so Erik has been doing a lot of that already.”
(Photo Courtesy of Orlando City SC)
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